Imphal (zoramobserver.com): Continuing their demand for “basic facilities”, the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Students’ Union (Regional Campus Manipur) has called for a protest rally today. The IGNTU-Regional Campus Manipur, with its main campus in Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh), has been in shutdown mode since May 3.
“The proposed peaceful rally-cum-sit-in-protest will be carried out on 10th of May 2018. We seek an appointment with Honourable HRD minister Shri Prakash Javadekar as we want the Central government to look into our genuine grievances at the earliest,” IGNTUSU-RCM publicity secretary Isaac L Songate told zoramobserver.com. The student body urged every student to take part in the protest rally from Kanglatongbi and to IGNTU-RCM Main Gate “without fail”.
“The union wants to remind every student that it is their utmost duty and responsibility as a responsible citizen and sincere and faithful tribesmen that we must all come together to fight for what we deserve and what we are entitled to,” Songate added.
DEMANDS OF STUDENTS
The students are demanding clear-cut reservation for tribals in admissions of students (99%), recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff, quota for tribals in appointment of faculty and administrative staff, reduction in admission and course fees, increase intake of students from 30 seats to 100, hostels for boys and girls at the campus, construction of quarters for staff at the campus, bank and post office at the campus, rooms for faculty members and research scholars, e-library and computers for the library, opening more departments (university has just five disciplines), introduction of UGC-NET/JRF coaching centre at Regional Campus, IGNOU study centre for MA courses, separate budget/fund for Regional Campus Manipur among others.
Manipur Regional Centre of the university has been functioning since 2009 “without basic amenities” as per the University Act of 2007, the students said. They have often complained about the lack of permanent teaching faculties in the existing five departments but their “issues are never given importance by the concerned authorities”.
DEPARTMENTS HEADED BY GUEST FACULTIES
“There is not a single permanent teaching staff in both Tribal Studies and Sociology departments. We demanded immediate recruitment of teaching faculties besides administrative staff without any further delay with proper reservation policy,” Songate told zoramobserver.com.
The university’s permanent campus located at Makhan in Senapati District is about 25 km away from the state capital Imphal and with no hostel and quarter facilities, students and the staff are forced to spend over one hour on travelling and additional expenses on a daily basis. “The director of the regional campus is currently staying at the guest house in the campus as he does not have a separate quarter for him and his family,” the students added.
The students are also calling for the introduction of courses other than MA in Political Science & Human Rights, MA in Tribal Studies, MA in Sociology, Master of Social Work and Master in Computer Application.
“We strongly demand that other humanities discipline like English, Philosophy, Geography, History, Education, B.Ed. under special consideration, Centre for North East (NE) Studies, Centre for South-Asia Studies, a separate department for Human Rights Studies etc, be introduced,” they said in a memorandum submitted to the university Vice-Chancellor Prof. T. V. Kattimani who is based in the main campus Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh).
There is also a strong resentment against Prof. Ramjeevan Singh Thakur, the current director of IGNTU-Regional Campus Manipur, for “failing to procure basic amenities” like proper rooms for faculties, scholars, proper equipment in the library like computers and Internet.
“He promised us that he will look into the issues, but to this day nothing has materialised. He is incompetent to continue as director,” the students said in their memorandum to the VC Prof. T. V. Kattimani while fixing April 30, 2018, as the deadline for him to take action.
With no reply from the university’s top officials who are based in Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh), the students have imposed a shutdown on IGNTU-Manipur Regional Centre since May 3 and classes have been suspended indefinitely.